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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/738

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

"The sight-seer's headache" is the name given to an affliction from which frequenters of picture-galleries and museums suffer. It is a result in part of the effort of the mind consequent upon long-continued observation, and partly of the muscular strain involved in that work; but is chiefly produced—in sufferers who are burdened with catalogues—by the frequent movement of the eye from the book to the object, and the incessantly repeated readjustments of the focus of vision which are made necessary in looking now at one, now at the other.

The advance that has been realized in the power of sanitation is exemplified, according to Mr. Edwin Chadwick's review, in the military services of the United Kingdom. A quarter of a century ago, the death-rate in the Guards was 20 per 1,000; it is now 61/2 per 1,000. The death-rate in the home array has been reduced in the same time from 17 to 8 per 1,000. In the Indian army the old death-rate was 60 per 1,000; from 1879 to 1884 it was reduced to 20 per 1,000; and it is now about 14 per 1,000. In the six years from 1879 to 1884, the aggregate saving was 16,910 lives, the money value of which is estimated at £1,691,000.

General Pitt Rivers has remarked that the difference in results caused by different methods of estimating the same skeleton by the most famous English physical anthropologist is not less than four inches. Dr. Beddoe proposes as a rule to add to thrice the length of the femur in inches 13 inches, and one half of any excess over 19 inches in the case of a man, reading 121/2 and 171/2 in the case of a woman.

A favorable report was given of the growth and prospects of the Bridgeport (Conn.) Scientific Society at the opening of the lecture course of 1888-'89. The society puts actual work and investigation by its members foremost among its objects, while the lectures are a secondary consideration. It is about to be endowed with a permanent home through the liberality of Sir. P. T. Barnum. Mr. Barnum made the opening address of the season's lectures, and having spoken of the benefits which science has conferred upon mankind, urged prompt and full recognition of the city's benefactors.

The origin of the experimental farm at Rothamstead is attributed in the "Pall Mall Gazette" to a remark made to Mr. Lawes by Lord Dacre to the effect that bones used as manure produced excellent results on one farm, while on another they were comparatively useless. This led to the institution of experiments with different fertilizers. Sir John Lawes is arranging to put his laboratory and the land on which the experiments have been made, with £100,000 as an endowment, into the hands of trustees to be appointed by the Royal and two other societies. Thus there will be no end or interruption to the work after the death of Dr. Gilbert and himself.

Specimens of what may prove to be a new species of chimpanzee have been attracting attention at the London Zoölogical Society's gardens. They are characterized by being bald-headed—are possibly identical with M. Du Chaillu's Troglodytes calvus—and the name Anthropopithecus calvus has been provisionally given them. Living specimens of all the three known anthropoid apes may now be seen at the society's houses.

An expedition is projected in Norway to be dispatched in the summer of 1890 in an attempt to reach the north pole by way of Franz-Josef Land. The leadership of it is to be offered to Dr. Nansen.

The crater lakes of the volcanic Eifel have been found by Dr. Otto Zacharias to be inhabited by numerous species of Copepoda, Daphnidæ, Radiolaria, Rotiers, water-mites, and insect larvae. The largest of them, the Laaeher See, which is about seven miles in circumference, contains a special fauna.

Parts of the monument that was erected in London by Sir Christopher Wren, to commemorate the Great Fire, are showing signs of decay. The limestone of which it is built is acted upon by the acids of the London atmosphere—an agency which had no perceptible existence in Wren's time, but is becoming more and more obvious in large cities and manufacturing towns.

 

 

OBITUARY NOTES.

Prof. Richard Vine Tuson, of the Royal Veterinary College, London, died October 31, 1888. He had been Professor of Chemistry in the institution named for more than twenty years; was a "thorough chemist and able teacher and experimenter"; and was the author of various scientific papers, and editor of the new edition of Cooley's "Dictionary of Receipts."

Dr. Peter Griess, a British chemist, died at Bournemouth, September 6th. He was best known as the discoverer of those remarkable substances, the diazo-compounds.

Dr. Nathan Allen, of Lowell, Mass., a physician and medical writer well known to readers of the "Monthly," died on the 1st day of January, from the effects of a fall down-stairs resulting in concussion of the brain. He was distinguished as a specialist in the subjects of physical culture and degeneracy, insanity and state medicine, heredity, hygiene, education, intemperance, and the family institution, and particularly of the falling off in the birth-rate among native New England families; on these subjects he published several important works and numerous shorter articles.